Covid-19 expanding risks to peace everywhere, warns UN chief
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 18: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday that the COVID-19 pandemic is expanding risks to peace everywhere.
"It poses an enormous threat to people caught up in conflict, which is why I made an immediate appeal for a global ceasefire," the UN chief said at the UN peace bell ceremony on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of the International Day of Peace, which is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21.
"I will repeat the call during the General Debate next week. We need to silence the guns and focus on our common enemy: the virus," said the secretary-general.
The annual meeting of world leaders at the UN is going virtual this year for the first time in its 75-year history because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first day of the General Debate is on Sept. 22.
Noting that peace is never a given, the UN chief said that "it is an aspiration that is only as strong as our conviction, and only as durable as our hope."
"It can take decades, even centuries, to build peaceful, stable societies. But peace can be squandered in an instant by reckless, divisive policies and approaches," the UN chief noted. -XINHUA